Abolhassan Banisadr, the first president of the Islamic republic of Iran. FILE PHOTO

The First President Of Iran's Islamic Republic Dies In Exile


The first president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Abolhassan Banisadr who was elected after the monarchy has died in exile, where he lived since 1981.

Banisadr, a lay political activist who came to support Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini during the Iranian revolution in 1978, was elected president in February 1980, while clerics were consolidating their power at the expense of leftist and nationalist revolutionary groups.

Banisadr also served as overall war commander once Iraq suddenly attacked Iran in September 1980.

As tensions increased between leftists and clerics, Banisadr was seen as a non-clerical politician loyal to Khomeini, the founder of the revolution, but also supporting the right of all groups to operate without hindrance.

As street clashes increased between the clerical forces and opposition groups led by the Mujahedin-e Khalq, Banisadr was forced to flee the country an live in exile in Paris for 40 years.

Banisadr cofounded the National Council of Resistance of Iran in 1981 with the Mujahedin-e Khalq Islamic-leftist opposition group.

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